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The Catholic Word is "Cross"

My spiritual director—who, as fate would have it, is on vacation this month (like the proverbial New York City psychiatrists, spiritual directors apparently take off most of July and August)—gave me a marvelous piece of advice last month when I complained of stress.

He is a humble priest in his seventies who punctuates his admonitions with the dangling question "yes?"

"Remember," he said, "that 'stress' is not a Catholic word, yes?

"The Catholic word is 'Cross.'"

I found this bit of wisdom at Dawn Eden’s blog. (Please keep Dawn in your prayers as she continues her medical treatment for thyroid cancer.)

I need to keep this idea close at hand. It is much more peaceful to call my challenges a cross instead of referring to them as stress. Stress implies that I am spinning my wheels with no progress. Carrying my cross says I am moving forward. It may be slow progress. It may be painful progress. But it is progress, nonetheless. I think it also makes it easier to ask for help. Pride gets in the way of my asking for help sometimes and I sound like a two-year-old, “My do it!!!”
Yet, even Jesus received help carrying his cross on the way to Calvary. Why shouldn’t I accept help with my own cross, whatever it may be.


Jim said…
I prefer the term "cross" as well. That was, after all, the term Christ used when discussing the price each of us must pay for discipleship. (Luke 9:23)
battfam said…
Cross - cross - cross. I will have to remember that. It is very true and it also makes me feel as though there is something much bigger than me.
Another Catholic Mom said…
I read somewhere (I think on that Jesus stumbled under the weight of His cross to show us that He understands when we stumble with our own crosses. That was very comforting to me.
As a cradle Catholic, I was raised with the expression "It's your cross to bear".
Rosemary Bogdan said…
Wow. Good post. i will remember that. Cross, not stress. Yes, keeps it in perspective.

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